BBC recently posted the ban is coming in 48 hours. Yikes. Thanks China.
“At the president’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data,” the US Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said recently.
Donald Trump will ban the downloading of TikTok and WeChat in the United States within 48 hours after a bitter dispute between the two companies and the US government. The US Department of Commerce plans to issue an injunction today that will misplace Wechat and Tik Tok to ban people outside the United States from downloading the apps. In a move that would likely cap an upcoming agreement that would allow both apps to continue working, the Trump administration says ByteDance’s Tik Tokyo and Tencent’s We Chat app will be banned from US app stores from Sunday.
The Commerce Department also said it would not seek to force people in the United States to remove the apps or stop using them, but would ban further updates or new downloads. Chinese companies, in an effort to prevent them from re-launching the app under a different name, will also be banned from the different computer code functions that underlie both apps, according to a senior trade official who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive deliberations. The Commerce Department’s decision says it will not allow an update or a new download, and will not seek to “force anyone outside the United States or any other country outside the United States or any other country to remove or stop using any of these apps.” The Commerce Department also says it “will not seek to” force people within the United States “or” discontinue use of an app “and that it” will not allow or prohibit further updates and / or new downloads. “
The order will ban the apps only in the United States, but you will still be able to do business and use TikTok and WeChat as they currently do. Friday’s order does not prohibit U.S. companies from working with us within the United States because “you are welcome to use one of our embedded mini-app programs to facilitate transactions and connect with consumers in China,” the order said. Also banned on Sunday is the use of the browser-to-browser messaging app, which is used by more than 1.5 billion people in more than 200 countries and territories.
The apps were banned because of TikTok’s planned partnership with ByteDance, which President Trump has approved but which is still to be approved. Trump will not lift the ban on downloading apps until Tik Tok’s deal with Oracle and other parties is approved on Sunday. The apps will be banned until the partnership is planned, agreed upon and approved by President Donald Trump and his administration.
When asked for comment, TikTok issued a statement: “We disagree with the Commerce Department’s decision and are disappointed that it stands by and blocks all new app downloads on Sunday. In the statement, a Tik Tok spokeswoman said: ‘TikTok does not agree with this decision by the Commerce Department and we are disappointed that this is the result of President Trump’s administration’s decision to block all new app downloads on Sunday.
It is difficult to say whether TikTok will be banned by other large countries or whether the situation will develop in the same way as in China. Chinese apps are still available, but because a comparatively small number of Americans use WeChat, the ban could hinder the ability to use the app to communicate with friends, family, and business partners outside China, especially if you use it to communicate with friends and family in the US and on social networks. The Chinese app boycott could be quite uncomfortable for those of us who get used to certain apps and services and never bother to check that they are available in other countries, such as the US.
A study published by Tencent Market Insight, quoting Sean Wang on Medium, found that users who stopped using the app did so due to a lack of diversity in the content published. Mitron, perhaps the most controversial of the TikTok alternatives, has gained users and notoriety even before China’s app ban. Ghosh and his team were not prepared for such a sudden increase in downloads, and the reason for the rush is that one of those apps that will be banned is the popular social networking app WeChat, the second most popular app in China.
In the case of TikTok, banning an app used for political commentary and activism would raise a strong constitutional complaint and likely be overturned by the courts, but the reason for such a ban exists. In addition to the cybersecurity concerns of Tik Tok and WeChat, they are expected to address other smartphone apps. This is already evident from the concerns their apps have expressed about the security of their users.
The good news, however, is that the ban will not prevent US companies such as Starbucks and Walmart from doing business with transcendent users on WeChat, according to a Reuters report. ByteDance acknowledged Thursday that China must agree to try to avert a U.S. travel ban, suggesting that could become even more complicated. The order comes just days after Trump threatened to ban Chinese technology companies operating in the US. It is unclear whether the order would require US companies to block access to the apps.